Small Batch Blackberry Jam

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I am really starting to appreciate small batch jam making. We are just too busy lately for me to be able to devote an entire day to jam making and canning, and honestly, while it is nice to have a large supply of jams and jellies on hand I really don’t need 10 jars of one variety.

Small Batch Blackberry Jam

I made this Small Batch Blackberry jam pretty quickly and easily the same day I made Blackberry pie and froze blackberries, all before we headed to the beach for the afternoon. In fact, I made the jam the same time I was baking the pie.

I made my jam in a 10-inch stock-pot because it had a large surface area and a relatively small volume of jam,  it cooked down much more quickly than a standard jam recipe. It is easier to get the jam to 220° degrees in smaller batches, so you can often skip the addition of pectin. One of my favorite things about small batch jam making is the shorter cook time creates a jam with outstanding color.  I mean this blackberry jam had a beautiful glowing color. Yes, past-tense we ate it all already.  In hindsight canning this jam was a waste of time, stored in the fridge, this jam will keep approximately 2 weeks, that is if your family doesn’t devour it within a matter of days like mine did 🙂

Eat it on a fresh homemade muffin, and you’ll know why ours disappeared so quickly.

Small Batch Blackberry Jam

Small Batch Blackberry Jam

Yield: 2 jars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 4 cups mashed blackberries
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced


  1. Combine the mashed berries and sugar, cover and let macerate in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours.
  2. When you're ready to make jam, pour the macerated berries into a medium-sized non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil and let the jam bubble, stirring regularly, until it reduces and develops a syrup-y look.
  3. Using a candy thermometer, monitor the cooking jams temperature. When it reaches 220 degrees, remove it from the heat. If you don't have a thermometer, use the plate test to test the jam's doneness. To test the jell stage of the jam using plates, put a couple of small plates or saucers into the freezer before you begin to the make the jam. When you're ready to test your set, pull one of the plates out and drop a small dollop of jam onto the center. Let it sit for a minute or two. If the jam is ready, it will develop a thin skin that will wrinkle when gently nudged. If it just runs all over the plate, it needs a few more minutes of cooking.
  4. When jam has reduced down and is finished cooking, remove from heat and add the lemon juice and zest, stir to incorporate. Ladle into prepared jars, wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, if desired. This jam will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge without processing.


Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pan.

Recipe Source: Mrs. Wages

Small Batch Blackberry Jam

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  1. Looking for small batch recipes, happy to have found you! Ready to go this morning in the PNW, but want to point out that you do not mention the size of the jars, only how many. Could you clarify? Thank you!

  2. How long do you let your jam boil (I don’t have a candy thermometer)? I overcooked my batch, but want to try again!

  3. This looks like a great recipe and I’m anxious to try it.I also grew up in the Finger Lakes area, T-burg, and there is nothing like the taste of those sun-ripened blackberries.My mother and I used to pick them in wild areas and get so many.Now I live in Illinois, and they are good here as well, but less of them.

  4. Hi there- with the blackberries, do you mash them first to make 4 cups or is it just 4 cups of blackberries that are then mashed? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Megan,
      Mash the blackberries first and measure out 4 cups. I went ahead an updated the recipe so the instructions are a little clearer. I hope you enjoy the jam!

  5. Just finished my jam…Dee..licious.Didn’t water bathe it…went in the frig.(the Jam, not me)Left a bit in the pot to smear on a piece of toast. Thanks so much

  6. Hi, I’m already passed the point of no return but I was a bit confused by the first step!

    You say, “4 cups mashed blackberries”

    Is that 4 cups of blackberries mashed, or blackberries mashed to make 4 cups of mashed berries?


  7. Thank you for the recipe!
    I have a bit of time on my hand now that Im not working. My kids simply love the recipe. We have tons of Blackberrys to pick and it complements the jam.

  8. Can this be cooled then strained to lessen the seeds? Also can they be processed in a water bath?

    1. Hi Debbie,
      You add the lemon juice and zest after removing from heat when the jam has reduced down.

  9. I just opened a jar that I had made a couple of weeks ago. WOW! it tasted amazing, I learned how to check the doneness with the saucers. I have tried many others and they were to stiff or it ran off the spoon. This is the one the pin if you want great BB jam. Thanks

    1. I am so glad to hear you enjoyed the jam, Linda! I can not wait to make more, blackberries are scarce here this year because of the lack of rain 🙁

  10. I don’t know if I missed it or not, but the instructions don’t seem to indicate when the zest and juice of the lemon is added. Not sure if that would be before thickened or after heat is done being applied so that the citrus flavoring stays bright.